First Year Experience Freshman Seminar, UNIVERSITY 102, Fall 2005

Section 22: Marine Biology
Meets on Fridays from 9:00 - 11:40 in Stevenson 3049

Faculty Instructor:
Marilyn Cannon

Biology Dept. and
California Cultural Studies Dept.

Nichols 320
phone: 664 - 2717

Office Hours: Thurs. 11:00 - 11:50; Friday 11:00 - 11:50 (Others by appointment.)

Staff Instructor:
Susan Wandling

PreCollege Programs

South Fieldhouse Rm 125

Office Hours
By Appointment

Peer Mentor: Melissa Rouse

Lives on campus

phone: 665-7848

Office Hours
By Appointment

Required books: (Should be in the SSU Bookstore)

1. First Year Experience Guide for Success by Velasquez et al. (2005)

2. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

3. Mac's Guide to California Invertebrates (laminated card)

Course Description

Welcome to the First Year Experience! Students often feel somewhat disoriented and overwhelmed during their first year in college. These feelings arise for a variety of reasons, such as living away from home for the first time, having unrealistic expectations of the ease of achieving success, having underdeveloped study skills, having time management problems, and the new, significant differences of being in university courses compared to high school courses.

 Designed to foster a supportive learning community, provide mentoring, enhance academic skills, personal skills (self-awareness, responsibility, relationships with others), and knowledge about campus resources to facilitate successful transition from high school to college. Other aspects covered are choosing a major, career exploration, health and social issues (sexual assault/harassment, alcohol/drug abuse), information competencies, code of conduct, and diversity/multiculturalism.

 Mission Statement for University 102

 The First Year Experience class is built upon a commitment to student success in the university community. It is designed to create a learning community, and a foundation of skills and knowledge that will help students develop the habits of thinking and learning necessary in a complex, technologically sophisticated, and multicultural world.

Goals of this course:

1. Build mentoring relationships with the instructors and peer mentor.

2. Become familiar with the programs, facilities, and services available to assist students in the transition from high school to college.

3. Develop skills to achieve academic goals (e.g., time management, study skills).

4. Recognize that appreciating diversity is an integral part of a university education.

5. Develop a support group among classmates and peers.

We will focus on the following during this seminar:

1. Personal development -- including values and goals, career and life planning, and physical and emotional health.

2. Academic skills -- improving skills in areas such as time management, library research, test-taking, note taking, computer networking, and oral presentations.

3. Orientation to the University -- academic programs, academic support services, policies, and procedures.

4. The Theme of "Marine Biology" will be explored (this is interdisciplinary).


Some Important Information: Please Read Carefully

 Attendance: Mandatory

Most of what you will get out of this course will take place in class, so it is crucial that you be here! The idea that "what you put into a course determines what you will get out of it" applies to this freshman seminar class. Much of your grade is based on Attendance and Participation. No more than 1 unexcused absence, or you will not receive credit for the course. Call or email Marilyn, Susan or Melissa in advance of class time if you are ill, or for some other good reason not to be in attendance. (If attendance wasn't so important for your success, we wouldn't stress it so much!) It is your personal responsibility to complete assignments if you are absent for any reason. Find out from your classmates what we did.

Academic Advising:

We require you to meet with your instructors (Marilyn & Everett) as your advisor at least once during the semester and 2 one-on-one meetings with your Peer Mentor, Melissa Rouse. These one-on-one meetings will allow us to check in with you to see how the semester is going, answer any advising questions you may have, and provide any support you may need. Feel free to see either of us as often as you would like.

Personal Journals:

As an important part of this course, you will be keeping a personal journal. Please use loose-leaf pages, either written or typed, and turn in only the necessary pages to us. In your journal, you will be recording your thoughts and feelings about the semester. At least once a week, we would like you to write about your experiences for that week (more often is even better!). Is collage what you expected? What courses are giving you the most difficulty? What is it like to be away from home? Are you using your time well? Are you getting enough sleep; eating well? Are you feeling ok?

Here are two advantages for keeping a journal (and you can think of more!):

First, it gives you (and us) an excellent way to keep in touch with your experiences.

Second, it provides you with a permanent record of this semester to look back at in the future. It will be one way to notice your growth throughout the semester.

We hope you enjoy the experience!

Campus Resources:

Many resources are available to you at Sonoma State University.. Our hope is that by the end of the semester you will have learned about most of the resources available to you on the SSU campus.

Go to our Schedule for the Fall 2005 Semester

Go to our Class Homepage

Go to my Homepage

Marilyn I. Cannon, August 20, 2005